There is No Plan - Part II

While places like 2 Girard and 1572 Jefferson seem to disappear from the streetscape overnight, other houses like this at 235 Woodlawn Avenue are left standing. Why?
Mayor Brown was quoted in a Buffalo News housing series last summer, "We’re targeting the worst. We’re convinced those structures must go. There’s really no choice." By almost any metric, this burned out two family home should be demolished. It's directly across the street from two recently developed projects - the Cold Spring Church and the new Bethel Headstart building at the corner of Jefferson and Woodlawn. A short three blocks away is the newly renovated Performing Arts High School.

Positive investment in a community that's been ravished by decades of neglect helps create a certain level of opportunity - homesteading and urban gardening - yet the lack of effective long term strategic land use planning is revealed when our hollowed out streetscapes become so burned and desperate that houses are left to languish (see Tale of Two Cities - the five year story of another burnout, just around the corner).

LISC-Buffalo has helped codify a vision, based on a set of best practices, for managing our City's decline - see Getting Smarter About Decline, October 2006. Triaging the thousands of abandonded, boarded and vacant structures - for mothballing, sale, or demolition - is necessary. It is not being done. Why?

As neighborhoods continue to hollow-out, vacancy like a virus spreads and the list of empty places grows longer every day. One begins to wonder if houses such as this, located next to clusters of positive reinvestment, will continue to rot. The fire at 235 Woodlawn Avenue was set by an arsonist ten months ago in April 2008.

Over at BuffaloGeek, Chris posted this recently - Buffalo: You're Doing it Wrong! - about what's (not) happening in the city. Good read.
See - There is No Plan - Part I
ArtspaceBAVPAWoodlawn Row HousesfixBuffalo flickr
Creative ClassShrinking CitiesSaturdays in the neighborhood


STEEL said...

Maybe the argument is that this one is not adjacent to another house?

Anonymous said...

ah lik brnt oferings ta shew nvestrs lik yu
- brin nd biron

Sofie from Sweden said...

Do you have an e-mail adress where i can reach you?

Or please contact me;
gosofie (at) gmail.com

I really want to get in touch with you.

Anonymous said...

He is pulling an Obama. There is a desparate need for a plan but instead he is doling out services based on political expectations. Instead of concentrating on one neighborhood, he is making it seem like everyone is getting a little bit.

fix buffalo said...


You can reach me - davidtorke@gmail.com - best, David

mark said...

hey david,
as i said to you in person...

the third world is just down the street. never fails to blow my mind.

good seeing you tonight, ill be doing one of your tours when the weather starts warming up

take care,